The Modular Handgun Has Arrived: SIG’s M17 at [AUSA 2017]

    SIG Sauer certainly didn’t waste its opportunity to show off its win of the Modular Handgun System contract at the 2017 Association of the United States Army annual meeting, bringing not XM17 MHS prototypes, but full-fledged M17 and M18 MHS production (or possibly pre-production) pistols to the show.

    Look, ma! No “X”!


    Rounding the corner to the SIG Sauer booth, AUSA showgoers were greeted by this angelic-looking display of the Army’s new handgun:

    I guess after 13 years of protracted, start-stop procurement, the SIG P320 probably does feel a bit like it fell from Heaven.


    On the wall were six MHS pistols – three full size M17s and three M18 compacts. In slight contrast to the angelic display before, all of the guns I tried were reluctant to go into battery without a little help, although mechanical quirks like that are a common byproduct of deactivated exhibition firearms, which often have critical components removed or replaced with dummies. All the handguns evidently sported SIG’s MHS trigger module, which reportedly is being offered as a free upgrade to civilian P320 pistols as well, to rectify the much-horsewhipped drop safety issue that cropped up over the summer.

    I never actually touched this gun, it was like this when I got there, sitting happily with the slide out of battery. This is probably much ado about nothing (my beloved Steyr also resists going into battery during handling) to be perfectly honest, but I still found it amusing.


    After so many failed Army programs, at least MHS appears to be alive and well, controversy around the P320 aside. It’s good to see production guns making their way into the public eye so soon, and hopefully into the hands of soldiers soon as well.

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]